Armed troops in black uniforms pour out of unmarked vans and swarm across a lawn in a middle class residential neighborhood. Two of the troops carry a battering ram to the front door of a white two-storey house. In position, their comrades point M-16s into first-floor windows, ready to be ambushed. An attractive woman in her thirties is making breakfast. The view becomes a direct overhead of the buildings and streets of the city, which then metamorphoses (through animation) into chips and digital signals on a stylised computer board. You're going to love New York, it's the city that never sleeps! Dade emerges from the ground-floor apartment on rollerblades and skates down the street to school. I didn't want to sell the house but I had to take this new job, you know that. We enjoy several views of New York, the morning sun shining between skyscrapers, neon signs that stay lit day and night. At school, hundreds of teenagers converse, move around, head to class. He walks up to a skinny latino kid in a faux leopard-skin muscle shirt.
The court gasps, Dade's father winces JUDGE ..sentence you to probation, under which you are forbidden to own or operate a computer or touch tone telephone, until the day of your eighteenth birthday.
Exterior view from the aircraft of approaching New York City.
Opening credits roll to a backdrop of Dade and his family and lawyer fighting through a gaggle of journalists and photographers, in slow motion, and driving away. Aboard a jetliner, Dade Murphy is staring blankly out the window, wearing headphones. Segue to Dade Murphy, now 18, wearing mirrorshades indoors and at night, working on his new computer.
The "America First" tape slides out of the VTR and is replaced by an episode of "The Outer Limits" as Dade watches, drinks Coke and smiles, full of himself. Suddenly, the ARPS screen is replaced by an ominous message: U HAVE TREAD UPON MY DOMAIN & MUST NOW SUFFER WHO R U?
At the station, a robotic arm selects a videotape from a huge rack of thousands of tapes.